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Scary Plants

October 3–November 15, 2015

Imaginative horticulture displays transform the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse. An abandoned greenhouse,  an old cemetery, curious carnivorous plants, and more await in this botanical take on Halloween season. View a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the Lady of the Ferns topiary featured in the exhibition.
Villafane Studios
One-of-a-kind pumpkin carvings of humorous, weird and wild characters, created by artists from the internationally exhibited Villafane Studios, are on display in the Cardinal Health Gallery. Ray Villafane, an Arizona-based artist, specializes in highly intricate, 3-D style pumpkin sculptures. Villafane is a regular competitor on the Food Network and was a recent finalist on Halloween Wars. Villafane Studios' creations will be placed in brine-filled tanks to preserve them for display. 

Merry & Bright

November 21, 2015–January 3, 2016

Feel the spirit of the season surrounded by festive horticulture displays and evening lighting.  Enjoy an array of activities and entertainment.

• Hundreds of poinsettias & seasonal foliage
• Gingerbread display, Dec 2–Jan 3 
• Paul Busse model garden railway
• A 15' poinsettia tree  
• Live Music  
Family Activities   

Central Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit
A winter-themed exhibit of transparent watercolors celebrates the Central Ohio Watercolor Society's 50th anniversary. On display in the Cardinal Health Gallery.

Evening Light Displays
Select evenings feature live entertainment and festive lighting throughout the Conservatory. The Conservatory is open until 9pm on November 25, 27–29, December 2, 9, 16, 18–23, 26–31 and January 1 & 2.  
Ninth Annual Gingerbread Competition
Start planning a gingerbread creation for this annual competition open to all ages. First, second and third place prizes are awarded in four categories: Youth, Teen, Adult and Family. Conservatory visitors vote for a Best in Show. Register by November 29. Download rules and registration form. 

Merry & Bright is supported by Giant Eagle.


January 9–March 6, 2016

Hundreds of colorful and delicate orchids provide respite from winter’s gray chill.  Enjoy an immersive, artistic exhibit in the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse and orchid displays throughout the Conservatory’s indoor gardens. 

Contemporary ceramic works of art inspired by the natural world are displayed in De La Naturaleza, a juried exhibit presented in partnership with the Central Ohio Clay Arts association with additional works on loan from Sherrie Gallerie. View the list of selected artists here.

Savage Gardens


Savage Gardens: The Real and Imaginary World of Carnivorous Plants is a rentable exhibition that was developed and designed by Conservatory staff. A multi-layered, multi-media exhibition, Savage Gardens tells the story of carnivorous plants and their astounding ability to adapt to inhospitable habitats.

Combining science, botany, art, humor, and hands-on activity, Savage Gardens reaches all ages with its rich components. Four monumental sculptures render viewers bug-sized, while interactive and interpretive elements educate and entertain.

The Conservatory has worked with the artists to ensure the portability of the large sculptures and other components. Learn more about detailed specifications and images of the components, as well as some of the media coverage that Savage Gardens received while on view at the Conservatory. 
Savage Gardens was developed and created by Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Tork, Inc. The work displayed is protected by copyright and any copying is strictly prohibited.

About Tork, Inc.
Tork is a team of experienced and versatile trained artists headed by owners Mark Lagergren and Tony Ball. Tork has been creating unique sculptural installations and functional works for commercial and individual clients for more than 10 years. Adept at working on both large-scale public installations and small detailed objects, we collaborate with architects, designers, and contractors to meet site specific goals. Our sculpture has been placed in a variety of environments including public parks, playgrounds, gardens, hospitals, museums, corporate interiors and exteriors, and restaurants. We specialize in metal and resin design, fabrication, sculpting, and casting in unique combinations of materials. Learn More

Blooms & Butterflies

March 12–September 18, 2016

Spring returns with the emergence of hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies and watch them take flight in the Pacific Island Water Garden, a tropical haven filled with bright nectar blooms. Newly emerged butterflies are released during educational presentations every day at 1 and 3pm. 

Spring Bulb Display

Spring, 2016

A dazzling celebration of spring! More than 100,000 tulips, narcissus, crocus, hyacinth and other vibrant stars of the season fill the Conservatory’s gardens and courtyards with color.

Origami in the Garden

May 21–November 13, 2016

Origami in the Garden is a monumental sculpture exhibition created by American artist Kevin Box. Motivated by the impermanence of paper, Box pioneered a new method of capturing its delicate detail into museum quality metals. Origami is the art of paper folding and each sculpture began with a single piece of paper. The exhibition features gallery works and collaborations with internationally respected origami artists such as Dr. Robert J. Lang and Te Jui Fu.  Related programs for all ages are scheduled throughout the exhibition.  

Presented by PNC Arts Alive